Ministry to children with special needs is important! One of the growing needs in children’s ministry today is the need to provide better ministry to children in these situations. With 13% of K-12 students receiving special education, and 38% of students having a learning disability, the demand for some type of special needs ministry is very evident. Take a look at the info-graphic about Special Education, below, created by USC Rossier.

If would like more information about ministering to children with special needs, check these resources out:


Do you think special needs ministry is important? What does your church do to reach these children? Leave your thoughts and ideas in the comments!

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GJ Farmer is a husband, a dad, the founder of, and is the Children’s Pastor at First Baptist Church in Somerset, Kentucky. He has completed a Bachelor’s degree in Church Ministries and a Master’s degree in Children’s Ministry. He has also been fortunate to lead and teach groups at children’s ministry conferences and to have had some of his writing published. Apart from working with kids, he enjoys reading, performing magic tricks, playing video games, and University of Kentucky basketball.


  1. Thanks for calling attention to this issue. But one of the challenges we face as a church is that most of the kids who would fall into the graphic in your post wouldn’t fit into what we’ve come to think of as “special needs ministry.” By and large, “special needs ministry” serves kids with significant intellectual disabilities and those on the more severe end of the autism spectrum. Look at the picture you included with your post!

    There’s a much larger group of kids out there with disabilities that impact them in some settings, but not others…like a kid with dyslexia who is asked to read aloud from the Bible at church! Or the kid with separation anxiety who can’t go on the overnight retreat. We need to broaden our view of disability ministry and consider how the environments in which we “do ministry” creates barriers for many of the kids described in the graphic.

  2. Special Needs Ministry is a HUGE passion of mine! Years ago when I took over the Children’s Ministry at Seacoast Church there was a woman who had two sons with special needs. They functioned fine in our typically developing classrooms, but she kept pushing for a special needs classroom. I told her to organize a meeting and I would attend and listen to the need. I expected only 10 people to show up to this meeting. Boy was I shocked to walk into a meeting with 30+ people present. Families of kids with special needs, special needs teachers, therapists… The thing that broke my heart the most was seeing a couple there that I never knew were a couple. I saw him on Saturday nights and her on Sunday mornings. Never new they were married, never knew they had a kid with special needs, which is what stopped them from attending church together. A year later we opened our special needs classroom at one of our five services – since then we now offer our Won by One special needs ministry at all our services and have several outreach events that cater to the special needs community. Two years after opening the classroom my family was blessed with a beautiful daughter with down Syndrome. I truly and blessed by our special needs ministry.